Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Happenings!

I started writing this post about a week before Christmas but alas, it never got published. I only got the pictures uploaded but ran out of time to write!

Here's a few things that we were up to this past month (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas...I'll cover those in another post!).

Christmas card pictures at our favorite place....Starbucks!!

How did my baby turn into such a little girl so quickly??

Is it just me or does Everett look a little bit like Charlie Brown??

I did pictures of Ems in a Santa bag for her first Christmas too, remember?

The weekend before my parents got here, we went to Great Wolf Lodge for the night! We went on a Sunday night so it was a lot cheaper then their usual really expensive rates. We brought Emersyn's favorite person in the world with us, her 7 year old cousin Annabel.

The girls forgot to bring shoes other then their boots. :)

It was SO much fun!! They had a ton of things to do there, more then we even had time for! They did a really fun story time at night and they even made it "snow" with bubbles. It was a little challenging with all of us sleeping in the same room but we made it work and it was a blast. Emersyn was SO brave and went down all the slides that her size allowed. We are going to make it a yearly tradition for sure, especially at Christmas time. It was so fun to see the lodge all decorated with Christmas trees and lights.

On Tuesday, December 13th Emersyn had her first preschool Christmas program and it was just darling. Her class sang three songs. Of course my girl is totally into music and can't help herself when she gets the urge to dance so during the first song she starts dancing and jumping which then lead to the entire class jumping and singing. It was hilarious and adorable.

Emersyn, Isabelle and Emery

Baby Everett posing as Baby Jesus

So proud of our girl!!

On December 14th my parents arrived in town and the fun began! Emersyn loved having her grandparents stay with us and they had a blast playing together.

Ems and Grandpa, getting ready to go on a walk!

We made Christmas sugar cookies that were delicious!!!!!! The secret is almond extract in the buttercream frosting. :)

We made a gingerbread house with Uncle David!!

There was lots of cuddling with MiMi!

And Grandpa!

Ems helped me send out Christmas cards.....just a couple days before Christmas!

We looked at the lights on Peacock Lane!

We visited Santaland at the local Alpenrose Dairy.

It was such a fun holiday season and it's still going. I think the holdays are officially over once everyone goes back to work, which in our case is January 3rd. :)

More to come later!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Becoming a Big Sister"

My amazingly talented brother and his equally talented and beautiful wife

My brother got his degree in film and cinema studies at George Fox University and boy am I glad that he did. He filmed Emersyn's birth and made a very sweet documentary of him "becoming an uncle". Well, this time with Everett's birth he not only filmed that but also filmed the very special moment when Emersyn met her baby brother for the first time. I am so so thankful that he caught these precious moments. It's so hard/impossible to soak up each moment during such a special occasion and now this little mini movie will forever be in my heart.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Five Question Friday

Both of my kids are asleep right now and while there are a million things I could be doing, I choose to blog...twice in one day no less! A little "me time" never hurt anyone....

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house? For sure my tree. I love all the ornaments that Brett and I picked for it and now the special ones that have accumulated as we've had kids, received them as gifts, etc. I did a post about ornaments a couple years ago but I should do another one to update it now that we've received and added some fun ones.

2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last minute type? Eh, a little bit of both. I am not one that collects gifts all year by any means but I'm not usually a Christmas Eve shopper.

3. When do you turn on your heat? I used to think that my parents house was fah-reezing and almost to the point of being unwelcoming. Well, apparently I adapted their crazy chilly lifestyle because now my thermostat is set to that chilly temp that was at my parents house, 65. If I am cold I will turn it up to 67 but usually I'll get too warm from doing things around the house. And if we forget to turn it back down to 65, we wake up sweating and HOT at 67. My in-laws keep their house at like 73 and often turn it up to 75. I sweat just thinking about it being that hot and I think that temp is stuffy. I feel like 65 at my house isn't as cold as it was at my parents house though, strange huh? I like having the fireplace on for heat but then it doesn't heat the upstairs and our rooms are freezing which wasn't a big deal before kiddos but now that Ems goes to bed so much before us, we don't have the fireplace on much at night.

4. Do you ever wish your blog was private? YES. There are some things that I'd like to blog about that I don't necessarily want the world to see. I wish you could pick who could see certain posts, like have a list of people approved to see private posts.

5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt? Before and pretty much immediately after getting out of the shower!

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. The holiday season is a magical time of year!!! A big part of the magic is that my husband loves it just as much as I do. We love Christmas movies, the lights, the music, all of it. We loved it before we had kids and now we love it even more now that we get to experience it through the eyes of a three year old. I love hearing her yell "CHRISTMAS LIGHTS" and "SANTA!!!!!" whenever she sees the inflatables in our neighborhood. I'm happy that she's pronouncing his name correctly this year, rather then referring to him as Satan like she did last year. :)

2. Snow makes me happy when I'm indoors and S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D out when I'm driving in it. I love the anticipation of snow. If there is even a hint of it in the forecast everyone gets so excited and when it actually does snow, all the news stations get taken over by snow coverage and they usually come up with some cheesy name like "arctic blast 2011" or something.

3. The best comfort food to eat when it's cold out is soup, chili and cornbread. Cold weather always inspires me to bake as well!

4. Winter is the best time for reading, snuggling by the fire, sleeping in (or so I imagine...haven't been able to do that too often for the last 3+ years), drinking white peppermint mochas, getting reorganized around the house, trying new recipes like the one I am trying tonight!

5. I can hardly wait for my parents to get here in less then two weeks!! I'm also excited for a family day tomorrow of finishing up Christmas decorating, running to IKEA to buy a pantry sort of cabinet for our dining room (we don't have a pantry, just one cupboard for's a bummer!), helping out at our church's Christmas concerts Sunday night, a date night next Friday and then Great Wolf Lodge that weekend!!!!

6. When it comes to holiday gifts I prefer to make sure they aren't the focus of the season. I LOVE giving gifts when I can think of something great to give. I hate just having to think of SOMETHING for someone for the sake of a gift exchange.

7. If I were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at about a 10. :) I had no idea that a sweet baby boy would be joining us this year and I'm ecstatic to celebrate the holiday season this year with my TWO kids. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

'Tis the Season

Well, the holidays are officially in full swing and I can hardly believe it! We had a great Thanksgiving and I had hoped to take more pictures yesterday but that proved to be hard to do when I realized that I left my camera at home. Oh well.

On Thursday our day started with a visit from Uncle David and Auntie Jenny. We Skyped with my parents and it was nice to have a little chat. After D & J left we went and had a low key meal with Brett's parents, two siblings and two nieces. I made a turkey breast in the crockpot that turned out really yummy. Only four of us ate turkey (the rest are vegetarians) so I didn't want to hassle with a whole huge turkey. The breast was a great alternative and turned out yummy (thank you

On Friday I woke up not feeling well and I don't think it was from eating too much. I really didn't eat more then normal on Thursday. I had woken up a couple times in the night feeling nauseous and in the morning I felt worse. Brett had to go into his work for a half day so he took Emersyn over to his mom's house so I could try to get some extra rest which was nice. After some more sleep, I felt a lot better and got ready. I went to get a couple things at the store and then headed back over to my in-law's for a birthday party for my niece. Friday night Brett and I went on a date. And by date I mean we went shopping for a new washing machine and to the Olive Garden. We are so old and suburban. :) We found a killer deal on a washing machine, praise the Lord. It gets mixed reviews though and that's kind of concerning. Ugh. Still need to research and make a FINAL decision. We bought it but can change our mind if needed. One thing is for SURE, I am sick of not having a washing machine. I have gone to my in-law's twice to do laundry and that's not the most convenient thing. Hauling two kids plus baskets of laundry is not fun. The washing machine that we bought is 3-4 weeks back ordered too. Lovely. Oh well, we'll survive. Luckily my kids have a lot of clothes. Unfortunately this is not the case for their parents. ;)

On Saturday Brett went and watched the Civil War which took up a big part of the day. When he got home he did get some Christmas decorations up outside and I was able to get some indoor cleaning done. We hoped to get our tree up but ran out of time.

Yesterday we went to church in the morning and then down to Albany for Thanksgiving with Brett's Dad's side of the family. It was nice to see people we hadn't seen in a long time and Emersyn got to play with some of Brett's older cousins which was cute. We stayed longer then I wanted to and then Ems fell asleep on the way home and slept from 7:30-8:30 which made me a little nervous for her bedtime. She stayed up until 10 once we got home and then woke up at 8 this morning. She'll probably take a good nap today but I'll most likely be at my in-law's doing laundry so I won't get to reap the full benefits of her nap while she sleeps there.

I've got a fun but busy week ahead. Tomorrow night we're taking a meal to a new mama and hanging out with them in the evening which will be fun. It's always fun watching first time parents and encouraging them. Sometimes you just need to hear that you're doing a great job, ya know? Wednesday night Emersyn's preschool program at church is having a movie night and Brett and I are going to help out. Thursday night we are going to the dress rehearsal for our church's big Christmas concert. I want Ems to be able to see the concert but I don't think she'd sit through the real thing so the rehearsal is a great alternative. Friday night I'm hoping to get to a friend's Christmas party but I'm not sure what Brett's work schedule is going to look like that evening. His schedule can vary depending on what time of year it is and I don't think he's going to get off early enough for me to attend but I'm hoping!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So thankful

Thanksgiving Day 2011

We are having such a great Thanksgiving weekend so far! On Monday or Tuesday I'll have pictures to post. I didn't take near as many as I should have on Thanksgiving but we still have a celebration to go to tomorrow where several of Brett's extended family will be meeting Everett for the first time so hopefully we get more pictures then! :)

There are a few things I'm especially thankful for. First, my in-laws have been so great about keeping Emersyn for us on dates or when I have things I need to do that are just easier with one kid. Also, I've been doing laundry at their house for the last couple weeks (just a few times) and that is a blessing versus sitting at a laundromat. We got a really great washing machine yesterday on Black Friday but the bad news is, it's 3-4 weeks back ordered. UGH!

I'm thankful for my strong willed, creative, always singing, beautiful, and hilarious 3 year old. She makes me laugh every single day and I am so so thankful to be her mama.

I'm thankful for my smiley bright eyed baby boy that slept for TEN hours last night. We all went to bed at 11pm and woke up at 9am this morning. It felt amazing to get that much sleep and a big reason for that was because Emersyn spent the night with Nana and Papa (and apparently slept in until 10am, holy cow). We've had a tiring last few days, that's for sure.

I'm thankful for my hard working husband that provides for our family and loves me and our kids. We drove by a Starbucks last night that we once spent ALL night talking at waaaay back when we were just friends. Happy memories.

I'm thankful for my friends that encourage, love and support me unconditionally.

I'm thankful for my parents in MN who are forking out big bucks to come spend the holidays with us. It's so expensive to fly this time of year but their family is a priority so they make it happen. They get here in 2.5 weeks and we're so excited to see them! The kids have changed so much since we saw them last in August for Everett's arrival.

I'm thankful for Emersyn's preschool who is instilling great values in her and helping her grow into a sweet little girl.

I'm thankful for a church that allows me to be stretched and grow through ministry opportunities and for providing a place for me to raise my kids to love the Lord and his people.

These are just a few of the things I'm thankful for today.....

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three Months

Everett David, you are three months old today!

I am falling more and more in love with you each day. You are absolutely the sweetest baby boy in the world and I'm so happy to call you mine. You are definitely a mama's boy and I LOVE IT!!

You have started teething, or at least I am pretty sure you have. You've started chomping on your hands and drooling a lot. Your sister cut her first tooth sometime around 4 months so I guess you are going to be on a similar schedule at least initially.

You've started giggling a little bit and it's so darn cute. You are ticklish and love being talked to. You are hardly ever fussy and when you are, it's easy to console you with eating or putting you down to sleep. You don't sleep in your crib yet, mama likes having you near and being able to listen to you breathe at night. You sleep in the pack and play in our room and I'm not sure when you will make the transition to your room. I think I might miss you too much!!

You like to nap in your swing downstairs all snuggled up with your blanket. Your favorite way to fall asleep is with the blanket all up in your face and sometimes you pull it over your head which I am not a fan of because it's not safe. You love to be cozy and buried.

You sleep great in your car seat. When we take Ems to preschool you will often stay asleep the entire time we are out which makes it so nice and easy for mama to run errands, read at Starbucks, etc. You will often go more hours between feedings if you're snoozing in your seat.

I love getting you dressed, especially for church. You have several little man outfits and you are just SO handsome, I can't get over it.

You LOVE TV! Not that I let you watch a ton of it but sometimes if I put a cooking show on, you just stare at it like you can't get enough. You like shows with music too, like "The Sing Off".

When other mommies ask me how long you sleep, I usually try to change the subject because I just don't have the heart to tell them how amazing of a sleeper you are. You go to sleep around 11pm and wake up around 8am. If Mommy is tired, it is my own fault for not getting to bed on time! A lot of our friends that hang out with you ask me, "is he always this chill?" and the answer is YES!

Everett, Mommy loves you so much. I am so happy to be your mama and get to watch you grow into a little boy. It's going too fast already but I'm determined to savor every minute with you and your sister.

I cannot wait to celebrate your first Thanksgiving tomorrow. I didn't have any idea you would be joining us this time last year. ;) I am so so thankful for YOU little man.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun but not relaxing :)

A few weeks ago I went on a little getaway with a friend and our FOUR kids. :) Several months ago my friend Sarah asked if I wanted to go with her to central Oregon to redeem a LivingSocial deal that she had purchased and been unable to use. She said we could take our boys, relax in the deluxe suite by the fire, maybe get some pedicures, etc. It sounded blissful and of course I said YES YES YES, I would LOVE to go!!!!

A couple weeks before we were to leave, she called me and suggested that we bring our girls with us.

Really? Hmmm. Well........I suppose.....

It's not that I don't adore my daughter, because I do. And it's not like I didn't want her to go with us, I just thought it would be SO different then if we just took the babies. Like, a lot more work different. Sarah really really wanted to take them though so I agreed (and secretly prayed she would change her mind, ha!!). I knew that we would have a good time, it just wouldn't be as relaxing as I might have liked.

I got to thinking though and our trip is a lot like parenting in general. It's a whole heck of a lot of fun but far far far from *relaxing*. Parenting takes effort. God didn't bless me with these kiddos to just hang out with and then send on their way once they turn 18. He gave me them to invest my time, love, energy and finances (right?!) in while they are still *mine*.

We had a great trip and priceless memories were created. I am so blessed to have a friend with kiddos so close in age to mine and everywhere we went, people would ask "did you plan to have kids so close in age". Sarah and I used to walk through the mall and people would ask us the same thing with our girls. Fun memories and still more yet to be made.

Everett and Benjamin. They are seriously the sweetest boys EVER.

The girls LOVED this statue of a chipmunk in our room. Emersyn named her Mary and we talked about Mary during the whole trip. It was funny.

Keeping her baby warm. It was VERY chilly!!

My beautiful babies on the shore of Suttle Lake.

Lifelong friends!!

Ellie and Ems at their first playdate, Ems was 11 weeks and Ellie was 7 weeks. I looked at this picture info and ironically, it was three years ago TODAY!

I feel like I have been so blessed with easy babies. (Knock on wood, I know Everett is still young). People see how old Everett is and comment on how tired I must be but if I'm tired, it's my own fault. My kid sleeps 8-9 hours a night, I cannot complain. The preschool age though is by far the most challenging age that I have experienced. But again, parenting is fun but not relaxing. I have been married for 8 years now and it has FLOWN by. I've been a mama for 3 years and again, it has gone by faster then I ever imagined it could. I am so burdened to pray that my parenting years won't fly by and yield no fruit. I am notorious for living vicariously through anticipating the future. I'll think to myself, "I really need to start working on reading more bible stories to Ems" or "I need to be better at taking pictures of Everett" and just thinking those thoughts almost makes me feel better to the point of then forgetting to follow through with what I planned. I don't know if that makes sense but I've been that way my entire life. I always have an excuse. It used to be "when I have a house of my own, I'll be more organized" or "when I lose weight I'll be more involved or confident". And in the meantime, time ticks on whether I like it or not and whether I achieve anything or not. But now, it's not just me that's affected, it's these two precious children that have been entrusted into my care. In my worst nightmares, I look at my teenagers and think, why didn't I take the time to invest in your future when I had the chance?

My daughter is a special little girl I a believe that God is going to use her to be a leader. However, there are times when I am dealing with a situation and I see the ugly things in myself shining through in her. Recently, she has become rather easily angered and it's like she'll go from zero to raging mad in no time. She gets frustrated with things easily and often times she's tired and that leads to aggression which pretty much brands her with a scarlet letter on her forehead as a child that hits or pushes. I am not saying that those behaviors are acceptable, because they aren't but more often then not, I project my own insecurities in parenting onto her and my pride is the one that issues a punishment, not my heart. I worry more about what other moms think of me versus what I know is right in my heart.

An equation that I have a tough time accepting sometimes is that good parenting doesn't equal perfect children. And also, making a poor choice doesn't equal a naughty child, it's a naughty action. Yesterday I had a rough day with Emersyn and she did something that made me really mad because she knew better and it upset me. I do my best not to parent in anger though, that is something I am very aware of in my life. I took some deep breaths and proceeded to head home. When we got into the house I had a discussion and told Emersyn, "you ARE a sweet girl and mommy will always love you. you just made a bad choice and because of that, you have a consequence. I know you can make a better choice next time" and that was that. No grudges. No further guilt. Emersyn IS a good girl and she deserves a mom that will have her back at all times, not just when she is being sweet and loving. That is always the hope of course, but even at her ornery times she is just as *good* as when she is on her best behavior.

Emersyn is my reminder of how much I need Jesus these days. And I am grateful to her for that and promise to do my best for her. Sometimes I have to remind myself, "YOU'RE the one who wanted to be a full time stay at home mom!!". I'm telling you, the working world is a piece of cake compared to parenting. For reals.

I'm rambling I know, but hey, it's my blog. I can do that. :)

I'll leave you all with a picture of my amazingly sweet and cute baby boy. I could literally black out from joy every time I look at this. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude to God for giving me this precious precious boy.